SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Penn Traffic Co. here is standardizing and automating the work flow within the advertising department at three divisions by implementing a database publishing system over the next few months.
This move is part of a broader effort by the company to integrate all the systems within the company.
The database publishing system is aimed at saving time and the duplication of effort involved in creating all printed advertising, including circulars, newspaper ads and in-store signs, a source told SN.
Penn Traffic declined to comment.
Using the new system, merchandising executives at Penn Traffic divisions Big Bear Stores, Columbus, Ohio; P&C, here; and Riverside, DuBois, Pa., will be able to electronically transfer product, price and text information for an ad in a given week to their ad page.
Previously, a merchandising executive would prepare a list of items to be advertised, along with the price, costs and margins. This list would be passed on to the advertising department, which would make another list.
Advertising staff would then pass the paperwork on to the artist who would make yet another list of those same items as they were put onto the pages that comprise the circular, for example.
Any changes by the merchandiser often required a back-and-forth exchange of the materials between departments, said the source, who is familiar with the project.
With the new system, merchandising executives will also be able to make changes easily at their desks, even after plans have been completed. This information updates the advertising page.
In the supermarket business, with advertising and sales closely tied to one another, the ability to change and make pricing appropriate at the very last minute is crucial.
The system also allows different variations on ads, specific to different marketplaces, to be created easily. For example, the system will help the retailers easily account for differences in what meat cuts are called in one market vs. another.
Previously the P&C, Big Bear and Riverside divisions had independent methods for publishing advertising. Each also had its own advertising managers, color separators and printers.
American Color, Phoenix, a division of Sullivan Graphics, Brentwood, Tenn., is handling the database publishing system. In addition, American Color is creating a system to allow the retailer to do automated page building.